Your help and support is needed in Alberta to casualties of regional fire!

by Kathleen Gorman, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada May 6, 2016

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Photo by Helicopter Magazine

ATSS members are needed to provide crisis services, support and intervention to fire evacuees from Fort McMurray and the local region. Trauma support and crisis counseling will also be helpful to ATSS members and their families who may be personally impacted by these devastating events that continue to unfold here.

The community of Fort McMurray, up in oil sands and First Nations country has been evacuated and the fires are still raging. More than 88,000 people have been evacuated safely, others that initially evacuated further north are now also having to be removed and the stress and trauma associated with this is immense. We have first responders and volunteers and military from all over doing their very best but our province is dryer than dry so the whole province is under a state of emergency and total fire ban. We have more than 48 fires burning. Many of the evacuees had to leave amidst burning embers and shooting flames along the sides of the streets and highway and many had no time to take even their pets.

My partner works in the oil sands as well and he was one of thousands of workers who had to be evacuated by air and I am ever so grateful to finally have him here in Edmonton safe and sound. There have been many miracles in evacuating that many people with only two real routes out of Fort McMurray however the trauma and losses will be felt for days, months and likely years. We are told that the only thing that will stop the fires is rain and none of that is in the forecast.

Here are some links that give an idea of the enormity of the past week. There are also some twitter accounts to follow if certified members of ATSS and others may be able to volunteer their services or put their names in on standby. There are all sorts of practical ways folks can help including fostering a family or pets.

Info on how to help can be found on twitter at: @YMMhelps and @YMMfire

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/05/world/iyw-fort-mcmurray-alberta-canada-wildfire-how-to-help/

http://edmontonjournal.com/news/local-news/how-yiou-can-help-the-evacuees-from-the-fort-mcmurray-wildfires

http://london.ctvnews.ca/mobile/crews-scramble-as-fort-mcmurray-fire-explodes-in-size-continues-to-threaten-1.2890516

https://donate.redcross.ca/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=1951&ea.campaign.id=50610


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About ATSS

Traumatic events such as natural disasters, war, terrorism, territorial conflict, violent victimization and sudden unnatural loss have affected individuals in all communities globally. The Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) is an international organization dedicated to excellence in services and support to individuals impacted by these and other events.

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The mission of the Association of Traumatic Stress Specialists (ATSS) is to organize, educate and professionally certify its worldwide membership in order to assist those affected by trauma. ATSS provides and promotes opportunities for training and education in the field of traumatic stress, and professionally recognizes evidence of service, education and experience by those individuals engaged in trauma treatment, services and response.

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Jayne Crisp, CTS, Administrator
5000 Old Buncombe Road, Suite 27-11
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P: 864-294-4337
M: 864-420-2379
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